Cease and desist orders issued against those connected with alleged real estate scheme
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX) —
The Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending (TDSML) issued cease and desist orders against Thomas Schober, his brother Geoffrey and their company, El Paso Home Buyers, LLC.
This means the two brothers and their company have to stop selling homes immediately.
KFOX14 first reported on the Schobers' activities two years ago.
Seven families passed their complaints to the TDSML through their representative at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA). TRLA claims the Schobers have repeatedly sold homes to, "..defraud both homeowners and homebuyers out of nearly two million dollars."
At least two of those families have filed lawsuits against Schober with K-Sue Park, an attorney at TRLA.
"People who are homeowners with regular mortgages don't know what a wrap-around is. It's not intuitive to imagine that you can sell a house with a mortgage still on it with someone else's name," Park said.
"Our clients don't understand that most people don't understand that our clients find themselves in the situation where they pay the price."
The cease and desist orders and the TRLA both are saying the Schobers operate as middle men for these home sales.
Home buyers in El Paso allegedly give the Schobers a down payment and make monthly mortgage payments to the Schobers. But TRLA claims the Schobers then fail to pay the bank or mortgage company.
Then the homes are foreclosed on by the bank or mortgage company, leaving families without a place to live and out thousands of dollars.
The cease and desist orders mandate the Schobers and El Paso Home Buyers, LLC to stop selling homes.
It also shows the brothers have never been licensed in Texas to practice this kind of work.
Jose Vicente and Adela Olivas are being represented by TRLA. They say they purchased a home in Socorro from Thomas Schober in 2014.They were in disbelief when it was foreclosed on in January.
The orders give them hope others won't fall victim to this suspected scheme.
Adela Olivas said, "They need to report to the police what is going on. That is the only way these persons will get caught and not keep doing this to other families."
Jose Vicente Olivas said, "I'm happy because Legal Aid is helping us. The state is helping us too. Everything is going well."
KFOX14 tried calling both Thomas Schober's office and cellphone. We left two voicemails and haven't been called back. We went to the address for El Paso Home Buyers, LLC, which is run out of Thomas Schober's home.
No one answered the door.
Park says these orders can only be effective if the public is aware of what the Schobers are doing.
"People need to report it if El Paso Home Buyers are selling anymore houses or if Thomas Schober or Geoffrey Schober is," Park said.
"They need to report it to the Department so that then they can then follow up. Without that information from the community, the cease and desist order won't do very much."
El Paso Home Buyers, LLC and the Schobers have 21 days to file an appeal of the orders. Police are currently investigating Thomas Schober.